Gratitude. Have you heard about it enough? It’s a word that gets thrown out there a lot and it’s sort of teetering on becoming a cliche. Sometimes, with the best intentions, concepts like this get a bad rap. When we constantly hear about something, it gets both tired and miscommunicated. Sort of like the idea of positive thinking. The last thing we want to do in sharing new content with our Revive community is enhance the idea of “toxic positivity” by talking about “toxic gratitude.” We are not going to neglect the fact that life can really suck sometimes. We know we can feel stressed, anxious, depressed, overwhelmed and frustrated at times. What we intend to do in spotlighting Gratitude this month is to recognize that amidst all of these natural human emotions there can also be space for gratitude. If we’ve defended Gratitude (and ourselves for talking about it) enough already, let’s begin.
In its purest sense, gratitude is defined as both “the quality of being thankful” and “readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness.” The second definition resonates with me a bit more because it includes this idea of “readiness.” If we see gratitude as merely a quality then we don’t leave room for what it takes to put it into practice. And when some of those emotions above are at the forefront, it can take A LOT. There’s a fair amount of preparation both mentally and spatially that play parts in practicing gratitude.
When we leave room for gratitude, we give ourselves an opportunity to accept parts of the present. We don’t have to like everything about our current life stages or everything about our relationships. Like we said, it’s a both/and mentality. There’s a certain heaviness that comes along with only thinking about life’s stressors. Gratitude says, “I can set this down and come back to it later,” lightening the load a little bit.
“I’m ready, now what?” There are a number of ways to begin a gratitude practice. Part of any practice helps us draw our attention to regular everyday things, in turn giving them more meaning. Whether you’re new to Gratitude, you’ve taken a hiatus, or you’re looking for other ways to incorporate it into your life, our Gratitude Journal is your guide for this whole month (and beyond!).
A little sneak peak into our Gratitude Journal, which you can download for FREE here:
What is something you’re thankful for?
What helped you choose it?*
What is one way you can highlight that for yourself this week?**
*Examples: You may feel supported, safe, hopeful, relaxed, patient, or kind, to name a few – which helped you think of it
**Examples: Setting a reminder on your phone to give it some attention and thought, taking a moment when you wake up or before you eat a meal to acknowledge it
Catherine at Revive